Sports Outside the Beltway

2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


For the record- UConn beats Notre Dame 59-44

The Huskies broke the consecutive win streak also set by the Huskies back in 2001-03. From AP-

Tina Charles, Maya Moore and the latest Connecticut Huskies dynasty now have their own place in the record books.

Charles scored 16 points and Moore added 11 to help top-ranked Connecticut win an NCAA record 71st straight game — a 59-44 victory over Notre Dame (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

UConn surpassed its own mark set from Nov. 9, 2001, to March 11, 2003. Unlike that amazing run, which ended in a loss in the Big East conference tournament semifinals to Villanova, this Huskies team has thoroughly dominated its opponents in every game, winning all of them by double digits.

Connecticut (32-0) will face either West Virginia or Rutgers on Tuesday night with a chance to win its 16th Big East conference tournament championship.

Maybe the most spectacular aspect of UConn’s record is the fact they have seldom been behind in any of the 71 games. Has there ever been a more perfect sports team?


South Florida to name Skip Holtz to be its next football coach

He replaces the recently fired Jim Leavitt. From ESPN-

Skip Holtz is leaving East Carolina to take over as coach at South Florida.Skip Holtz

Holtz informed the team of his decision in a meeting Thursday afternoon, team spokesman Tom McClellan said.

South Florida fired coach Jim Leavitt earlier this month after a school investigation concluded he grabbed a player by the throat, slapped him in the face, then lied about it. Leavitt denied the allegations and insisted his dismissal was unwarranted.

The 45-year-old Holtz has led East Carolina to two consecutive Conference USA championships and 38 victories in four seasons. He also coached at Connecticut in the 1990s in the years before UConn became a Division I-A (FBS) program.

Unlike Leavitt, Holtz is likely to use SF as a stepping stone towards a more prestigious college football coaching job. There is nothing wrong with ambition as long as 1- The coach is honest about it 2- The University avoids hiring someone who is ambitious and only in the job for themselves. In other words, a coach who will get a university into NCAA trouble then bolt just before sanctions are to be handed down. Someone like John Calipari.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


UConn Cornerback Jasper Howard dead at age 20

Howard, who came from Miami and played high school football about one hour south of me, was stabbed to death on campus. Very tragic and RIP.

Jasper Howard, a 5-foot-9, 174-pound starting cornerback on the UConn football team, died today after an on-campus stabbing.Jasper Howard

According to multiple sources, Howard, 20, was reportedly was stabbed near the student union.

Howard is from Miami and attended Miami Edison High School.

State Police major crime unit and UConn police say the stabbing happened just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday on Hillside Road near the center of campus. Police said two people were stabbed and were found near each other on Hillside Road. Both were taken by UConn ambulances to Windham Community Memorial Hospital. Police said the stabbing happened when a school-sponsored dance at the student union was let out. A fire alarm was pulled at 12:26 a.m., an altercation happened outside the building between two groups of people and then two people were stabbed.

The perpetrator of the stabbing is still at large, according to an emergency alert posted on the University’s website Sunday morning.

On Saturday, Howard had a solid performance in the Huskies 38-25 win over Louisville at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. He had 11 tackles and also forced a fumble and recovered it in the third quarter. That led to a 30-yard field goal.

Howard often talked about his tough time growing up in Miami. His mother, Joangila worked many jobs to support him and his sisters including one, Jasmine, who is afflicted with meningitis.

Howard, the first in his family to go to college, also often talked about his dream of making it professionally so that he could support his family.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #27- Indianapolis Colts- RB Donald Brown

The first Connecticut Huskie to ever go in the first round?

ESPN writes- There’s a fine line between patience and hesitation for running backs and Brown does an excellent job of straddling that line. He reads his blocks extremely well, hits holes as they open and reads the flow of defenses well. There are some questions about his pass-catching ability but we believe he’s going to develop into an excellent receiver, especially after watching him catch and track the ball during UConn’s pro day.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Dallas Cowboys Draft Fullback Deon Anderson

Deon Anderson UConn Photo Dallas Cowboys .com NFL Draft Logo 2007 The Dallas Cowboys have drafted Connecticut fullback Deon Anderson with the 21st pick in the 6th round (195 overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. He’s an excellent blocking fullback with outstanding size and strength but generally considered undisciplined and a “character” problem.


George Mason Makes Final Four

The biggest Cinderella story since at Villanova’s stunning 1985 championship run is on, with #11 seed George Mason continuing its improbable march through the NCAA tournament with an overtime victory over top seeded UConn. Ironically, its semi-final opponent could be Villanova, whose game with Florida just tipped off.

H. Darr Beiser of USA Today provides a quick game summary:

The George Mason Patriots danced their way into the Final Four on Sunday with a stunning 86-84 overtime victory over top-seeded Connecticut at the Verizon Center in Washington. With the win, George Mason became the highest seeded team to reach the national semifinals since 11th-seeded LSU reached the Final Four in 1986. But as has been the case with the Huskies all tournament, they simply wouldn’t go away when the game seemed all but over.

George Mason held a 74-70 lead late when the Huskies’ Marcus Williams hit a jumper with seven seconds left to cut the deficit to two. Rudy Gay then committed a quick foul on the Patriots’ Tony Skinn with six ticks left on the clock. After Skinn missed the front end of the one-and-one, Williams swiftly drove to halfcourt and passed to Denham Brown on the wing. Brown drove baseline and made an acrobatic reverse layup that bounced on the rim three times before finally falling through the net after the buzzer sounded to send the game into the extra frame.

In overtime, the Patriots calmly nabbed a quick lead after Will Thomas hit a jumper with 4:13 left. The teams traded baskets for the next two minutes until Thomas hit another jumper with 2:11 remaining that put the Patriots up 82-78, a lead they would not relinquish a second time.

Jai Lewis led the way with 21 points and Lamar Butler and Will Thomas added 19 apiece. But the win didn’t come without a complete team effort. All five Patriots starters finished the game in double figures as Skinn pitched in 10 and Folarin Campbell added 15.

MSNBC piles on,

Now this is madness.

George Mason stunned No. 1 Connecticut 86-84 in overtime at the Washington D.C. Regional final on Sunday, as the No. 11 seed became one of the most surprising stories in NCAA Tournament history.

Connecticut was regarded as one of the tournament favorites due in part to their coach, Jim Calhoun, who has won two NCAA titles, and their roster of NBA-caliber players, led by probable draft picks Rudy Gay, Marcus Williams, Hilton Armstrong and Josh Boone.


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